BBC perpetuates the narrative of perpetual Palestinian refugees

On Oct. 8th, the BBC published video segment by Paul Adams titled “After 70 years, who are the Palestinian refugees?”, filmed at the Burg Al-Barajneh “refugee” camp in Beirut, which focused on Palestinian fears that, under the new US peace plan, they’ll never be allowed to return “home”.

Here’s the six-minute segment:

Though the official UNRWA figure counts over 5 million Palestinian refugees, the overwhelming majority of these “refugees” – as we’ve noted repeatedly – are merely Palestinians descendants (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.) of the original 711,000 actual refugees from 1948 who, unlike every other refugee population, are automatically granted refugee status, even those who have citizenship in other countries.

As Einat Wilf, co-author of the book ‘The War of Return’ observed about the fiction that there are millions of Palestinian refugees.

almost all [Palestinian refugees] (upward of 80 per cent) are either citizens of a third country, such as Jordan, or they live in [Palestinian territories] where they were born and expect to have a future…

….The remaining 20 per cent of the descendantsare inhabitants of Syria and Lebanon who are by law denied the right to citizenship granted to all other Syrians and Lebanese.

The number of actual refugees from 1948 is believed to be closer to 20,000.

As you saw in the clip, a Palestinian professor in Lebanon was interviewed who explained that Palestinian “refugees” in Lebanon – many of whom have lived in the country for generations – are truly second class citizens and are denied basic employment and property rights.  Yet, note how Adams failed to draw the most intuitive conclusion from this fact: that the refugee issue – and the fact that so many Arabs of Palestinian descent identify as “refugees” – is perpetuated by Arab states (and UNRWA) who refuse to encourage the full integration of Palestinians into their countries.  Nor, did Adams ask why such “refugee camps”, run by UNRWA, in Lebanon, Jordan, and within the Palestinian Authority have never been converted to ordinary cities. 

Adams’ other Palestinian interviewee – a young woman also several generations removed from the actual refugees of ’48 – insisted on her inalienable “right of return” to Israel.  But, BBC viewers were not reminded that such descendants of refugees don’t in fact have such a legal right to “return”, and that Israel would of course never engage in an act of national self-immolation by allowing millions of Palestinians to become citizens of the state.

Adams, in his final thoughts on the problem, opines that for such Palestinians, living in camps in Lebanon and Jordan, their refugee status is the only thing they possess.  However, hope based on a right (of return) they don’t have, and on a future vision of life (in Israel) that will never be brought to fruition, is not a possession. It’s a handicap, and a cynical formula for perpetuating Palestinian victimhood that continues to be amplified and legitimised by media outlets like the BBC.

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  1. A few miles from the White House, in the wealthiest counties in America, in Northern Virginia and Maryland,in North East Washington and Georgetown, you will find some of these descendants claiming to be “refugees”.

    Oddly, a status they would never grant to the descendants of Holocaust survivors, for example.

    • Oddly, those “descendants of Holocaust survivors” have ‘right of return’ to a region they have never inhabited whereas even those non-Jews who DID inhabit the region beford being ethnically cleansed by Jewish-militia.

      It’s a funny old narrative.

      • They have a state. A state founded in law and history rather than a Soviet/Arab League propaganda program. Arab states make examples of their Palestinian Arab brethren by singling them out and in most cases denying them citizenship where they actually live. Even where they are citizens they and any descendants are counted as refugees, unlike any other population in the world. They are denied rights and options and pressured and indoctrinated from infancy that the only place they can live in a vast region 99%+ controlled by Arabs is somewhere where they would need to displace the Jewish population and Jewish sovereignty on a tiny plot of land that was set aside for that very purpose. It’s really disgusting. And it is racist. And it’s disgusting for you, Farmer, to be such a willing tool in such an outlandish propaganda effort whereby the Jewish State is constantly vilified by a racist mob made up of some of the worst regimes in the world.

      • No longer Michael Farmer, but Mike? How casual! Does that now mean you leave the top button open on your brown shirt? lol

  2. So, those who have homes in Israel from which they were driven in the 40s have no right of return. But Jews who have had NO relatives living in the region for over two millenia DO have a right of return to the region.

    Is that Israeli fair-mindednes? Is that Israeli justice? Must make you proud. Stick out that chest.

    • “So, those who have homes in Israel from which they were driven in the 40s have no right of return.”
      Actually, most of them were not driven. Many, left by foot, and of their own volition, as their Arab brethren tried, in violation of international law and in contravention of the UN Charter to “drive the Jews into the sea.” You’ll notice in that quote that the Arabs didn’t play around with your Corbynista Soviet designer euphemisms to state their intentions. And no, the Arabs have no “right of return.” I know you don’t like law, but that’s the way it is.
      And don’t cry too hard but ‘Palestine’ is not the indigenous name for that land, but rather a name imposed on Jewish land from without by imperialists, not of the Arab, but of the European variety. Nod, nod, wink, wink.

    • “But Jews who have had NO relatives living in the region for over two millenia ”
      Clearly Farmer doesn’t know anything.

      • So Jeff maintains that ALl the Jews in the world have relatives that lived in the region over 2 millenia ago and hence have the right of return while no Arabs even if thd havd relatives still living there have NO right of return? Yeah, right.

        Clearly Farmer doesn’t believe Hasbara.

        • I understand. You are very fearful of Jews controlling anything. It is loathsome to you and deeply baked in. I get it.
          But that is not a good enough reason to harangue us with phony arguments, semantic games and false histories of recently invented peoples to take our place.
          And, no, Arabs have no right to a country which is quite literally the legal the state of another people, even if they think they do. No apologies, and no more funds for the UNRWA indoctrination centers that tell them, falsely, that they do.
          After two millennia of having it your way, you will now have to put up with Jews inventing modern conveniences and medical breakthroughs in a Jewish majority democratic state in the land of Israel. And you will have to accept their right and power of self defense, because it is just and real. You will have to mature, and with maturity perhaps you will come to understand that we are not out to get you.

          • Wow, Jews of Israel creating the modern world…. hype.

            Israel as a democracy …. laughable.

            Israel defending itself? … Hasbara. It forays its military into the land of others.

            The only thing Jeff gets is a night’s sleep.

            • Everything I stated is demonstrably true.
              You are an ignorant bigot. You prove it each and every time you show up. And yet, you can’t stop. You have a problem.
              Israel is the trigger, but as a psychologist would tell you, the trigger and the problem are usually two separate things. Seek medical help.

            • Farm boy, Take your Taqiyya and shove it up your well deserved Nakba.

              Sadly for fascist pigs like yourself, the Israeli’s are NOT the unarmed Jews of WW2 or Khybar. They are well equipped and motivated to defeat your fellow fascist swine.

  3. It’s an interesting philosophical point that ignores the other mistaken belief in the right of “Palestinian” Arabs to murder and ethnically cleanse Jews let alone reject the indigenous rights of the Jewish people to not only live but flourish in the land of Israel. Had the Southern Syrians, as they were also called, accepted these rights then Israel would likely be a binational Jewish-Arab country. Such criticism applies not just to the South Syrians but Arab nationals in general. They did not, that ship has sailed.

    Compared to tiny Israel the Arab world is vast. To paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke – ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS – EXCEPT FOR ISRAEL. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.

    • “indigenous rights of the Jewish people”?

      L. King states a falsehood here. Jews are NOT indigenous to the region. Their Bible will tell you that they invaded from elsewhere, butchered the inhabitants; man, women and child before taking the land for themselves.

      Perpetual lies are just one of the means by which Jews seek to live apart from all others in their own apartheid state, described by them as their rightful “home”.

        • By every definition of the word Jews are indigenous to Israel. This is our place of origin where our sacred traditions, ancient language and sense of community evolved. That’s what indigenous means and it is reflected in our deep connection to the land. You should go live in the apartheid Arab world where women, Jews and other minorities have no rights. In contrast Israel is a progressive multicultural western middle eastern liberal democracy.

        • Mike, the Bible also has their God promising the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants as well as promises made to Ishmael’s descendants to other lands. Joshua’s armies slaughtered their way back into Canaan with the support from the God of Moses according to the Bible. I would not use their bible as an argument.

          What makes a people Indigenous is their ethnogenesis and as such the argument can be made that in spite of whatever ugly story happened in the Bible, the ethnogenesis of the Jewish people is in the land once known as Canaan. We recognize Indigenous north Americans as Indigenous even though their ancestors crossed over from somewhere else 50,000 years ago.

          Jews are Indigenous to this land but so are others like Samaritans.

          Arabs are indigenous to Arabia and Islam also originates in Arabia having been spread by the sword from there.

          Palestinians are a bit of a mystery as their unique peoplehood and inclusion as part of the Arab nation is a very recent development and everybody including their own leaders admit it. This does not mean that they do not have a claim due to the events surrounding both the war of 1948 and even 1967. It just means that their claim of being Indigenous is not a slam dunk by any means.

          There are among the Palestinians clans that have been there since Roman times. They were Christians then, as there are Christians among them now. Some converted to Islam but can trace their roots back to either Christian or Jewish ancestry. There are also large clans that came from outside the this land when it was conquered by Arab armies under the flag of Islam.They are a mix of peoples, some Indigenous some not.

          Certainly the definition of a refugee was a BS move, 2 years residence and there has been so much abuse and falsification that its actually invalidated this whole whole claim which no one in the Middle East really takes seriously. No one in the Arab world in a leadership position believes for a second that Israel is going to let 5 million Palestinians back in. Its stupid. They know they displaced the same amount of Jews from their countries and that they actually owe them way more in material losses than the Palestinians who were displaced are owed.

          The Israel haters are going to have to give up their dream of wishing Israel to self destruct at their command. Israel doesn’t need their help to self destruct, they can do it all on their own if they were left to their own devices. Its a country divided among many lines held together in part by a sense of unity against those wishing the country to disappear. BDS, the UN thing, the Unesco thing. the Durban thing, the IAW thing, Oslo’s failure, all help unite the Israelis and not only strengthened their resolve but gave tremendous oxygen to the right wing and snuffed out the Left wing.

          There is room enough for both Israelis and Palestinians to live in this land in peace, if they wish to. The Palestinians who are now 4th generation refugees have zero chance of moving back to Israel. The Palestinians need to get their shit together and have an election and show they can manage what they have before they think they can manage what they don’t have.

          • Agreed that both Jews and Arabs fit the true definition of being ‘indigenous’.

            I reminded L. King of the Bible because my view is that he/she was using the term to suggest that Jews origjnated from the area which somehow bestows on them certain rights.

            The Bible appears to me to be a forged ‘legal’ directive claimed as having been dictated to Jews by ‘their God’. A directive that bestows on them privileges which they attesfvto to this day.

            Agreed also that those Arabs(Palestinians) that once lived in the land of Israel’s state have zero chance of returning to their homes. Possibly their descendants may one day form a majority on that land, more likely while Israel insists on taking all the occupied land as a Greater Israel and refusing the Palestinians a state of their own there.

            • Farm Boy,

              JORDAN is “palestine” and that’s on the East Bank of the Jordan Rivers.

              Now Arabs/Musilms have settle their differences with fellow Arabs/Muslims in Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia, Fascist Iran BEFORE there can be any hope of Arabs/Muslims being able to live in peace with INFIDELS.

              Certainly there are fewer differences between Arabs/Muslims than with Infidels. Should be trivial.

            • English “privilege” isn’t what it used to be, Mike. You don’t get to run the world as you arbitrarily see fit. The same applies to your Arab colonialist fellow travelers.

              Both the Quran and the Bible agree that Israel is the land of the Jewish people. Your English “privilege” may lead you to think that you can get away with insulting Jews by telling them that the Old Testament was “forged”, but you risk losing your head if you say the same about the Quran. You might also mention that the end prophesy where Muslims think they get to kill Jews doesn’t predict how it ends, nor to you come off too well either in that apocalyptic scenario. By all means take a hike to Mecca and Medina and preach that the Quran is “forged”, that there is no Allah and Mohammed was an illiterate warlord who may never have existed. In Jerusalem or Haifa they’ll just think you odd. We Jews are like that. We’re very tolerant of English oddballs. In Tulkarm or Beit Hanoun you’ll wind up dead. I’ll happily send flowers to your widow – just post an address.

              The fact of the matter is that the Old Testament is in largely record that we wrote down. We happened to be in Israel when we wrote most of it. That’s how national history gets written. Some of it is unverified – in particular the part about butchering other people and burning down their cities. Archaeologists have located the cities but no record of such conquest. Perhaps it was true or perhaps it was a fable to warn off other warrior nations. The OT doesn’t record this happening with Jerusalem – the Jebusites merged into the Jewish people. That may be true or fable too. The destruction of Jerusalem and the 1st Temple appears to be verified, as does the return of the exiles. The Alexandrian and Maccabean period are pretty solid. The then contemporary references to a 2nd Temple again confirm the existence of the 1st. That’s all we need to assert indigeneity and prior title. If Plato, Homer and Aeschylus can validate the existence of ancient Greece, then the OT record validates the existence of ancient Israel. No supernatural references or proof required.

              • “You don’t get to run the world as you arbitrarily see fit.”

                Nor does the Jewish Community get to dictate red-lines on racism to the UK Labour Party.

                Surely you’re not trying to convince that the Bible is a legal document?

                • “Nor does the Jewish Community get to dictate red-lines on racism to the UK Labour Party.”

                  No one is dictating anything. People are appealing to common sense and reason. You can’t push Jew hatred and then claim not to be Jew haters. But the Labour Party and you are certainly free to take a long walk off a short peer, if that’s what you’re into. Go ahead. Jump.

            • “Jews are NOT indigenous to the region. ” – Farmer

              “Arabs are indigenous to Arabia and Islam also originates in Arabia having been spread by the sword from there.” – Canaan

              “Agreed that both Jews and Arabs fit the true definition of being ‘indigenous’.” – Farmer

          • “their god”, “their bible”
            ” Israel doesn’t need their help to self destruct, they can do it all on their own if they were left to their own devices. ”

            A haughty schmuck puts his two cents in.

      • Farmer states a falsehood. The Jews are the indigenous people, and along with a few Samaritans, the only ones their today, unless he can produce some Jebusites or Canaanites.

        “Their Bible will tell you that they invaded from elsewhere” just like the English.

    • The video is basically Arab war propaganda presented with an English accent, and easily fisked for all its inaccuracies.

      • Crazy Eddie loves the current President of the United States, and he believed the former President of the United States was a super secret Muslim born in Kenya! That’s how crazy Crazy Eddie is.

        • krackheadmoron, Do I LOVE President Donald J. Trump?

          You bet, comrade.

          Keep sputtering, shrieking, clawing, crying, weeping, wailing and flailing.